Sheriff’s Office takes action to try to prevent inmate suicides

Feb 29, 2024

Ten inmates died by suicide in the Birstol County Jail system between 2017 and 2023, which amounts to a suicide rate that’s three times the national average, according to a recent report on the jail’s suicide prevention practices. 

To curtail this trend, the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office hired Lindsay Hayes, a nationally recognized expert in suicide prevention in jails and prisons. 

Hayes’ report assessed the Bristol County Jail’s suicide prevention practices and provided 24 recommendations for how it can reduce the risk of suicide in its correctional facilities and jails. 

“We can never fully eliminate inmate suicide,” said Sheriff Paul Heroux in a press release. “But we can reduce it. There were a lot of different ways that inmates could hang themselves and commit suicide. We are changing that.”

The recommendations for the Sheriff’s Office include providing more training for personnel on how to identify and monitor suicidal inmates, improving its screening process for suicidal inmates, and reengineering the jail cells and bunk beds to prevent suicide attempts, specifically hangings.